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Interview with Brenda Stinnett

 

What Inspired you to write your first book?

Whenever I write, my story always starts with a single image. For THE KING’S VAMPIRE, I saw the oak tree where King Charles II hid from Cromwell’s army, and my book evolved from that.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I’m an organic writer, which I think in reality means I’m a pantser—my  book comes from images in my head and I don’t do outlines. I wish I was one of those writers whose characters take over the story, but no, that doesn’t happen.

How did you come up with the title?

My main character, Elizabeth Curran, an immortal vampire, is being used by psychic vampire demons to make King Charles Stuart II an immortal vampire, so Elizabeth is the king’s vampire.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

The struggle between good and evil is always with us, and sometimes what may appear evil may actually be a lost soul seeking the light, while darkness and evil can deceive those who are vulnerable to hatred and bitterness.

What things in your book are realistic?

The historical time of King Charles Stuart II is very realistic but I incorporated a paranormal world around it.

Are any of the experiences in the book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Interesting question because I had a very close friend mention that my protagonist, Elizabeth, made her think of me in that she’s always seeking to be ‘worthy’ and trying to do the right thing. I did not conscientiously go for this concept but I guess we always put pieces of ourselves in our writing. My demon slayer, Darius, probably reminds me of my husband Steve because he’s always been the protector.

What books have most influenced your life most? 

My love of romance comes from Jane Austen, but my love of the supernatural comes from Bram Stoker, Stephen King, and Dean Koontz.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I think the writer I’d consider a mentor would be Stephen King, not that we know each other, but I’ve always wanted to give people a chill or two when I write.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I’ve found there are a lot of great writers out there in the e-publishing world. I have many peers at Soul Mate Publishing who are doing some great work. Lynn Cahoon, Christine Merrill, Cheryl Yeko, Char Chaffin, Gerri Brousseau, Steve Mitchell, just to name a few authors, have some fabulous romances out there.

What are your current projects?

I am working on THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE DUCHESS, which is a continuation on THE KING’S VAMPIRE, only the main character is Amelia, a secondary character in my present novel.

A person that you feel supported you outside of family members?

I would have to say that Debby Gilbert, the publisher at Soul Mate, and all the sisters and bros in the cadre of authors. They are all great in making suggestions and helping out if you get stuck and need some support.

If you had to do it over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I think I would differentiate my immortal vampires from my psychic demon vampires a little more. The immortal vampires are vampires forever and have no souls, but the psychic demon vampires turn into demons after 100 years and are doomed to eternal damnation. The psychic demons feed off the weaknesses of humans and try to draw out their souls, while immortal vampires are pure blood feeders.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I’ve read all my life and told myself stories forever, sometimes to the detriment of my grades in school. When I was a little kid, I always wanted to be a teacher and a writer, and I was fortunate to do both.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Sometimes I find that it takes courage to present your writing to the world and take the chance that they will perceive you in the way that you hope to be perceived.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

That is probably the most impossibly hard question for me to answer. I read almost everything and I love so many writers.  I love Taylor Caldwell and I don’t know how many people would recognize her name, but she wrote wonderful historical fiction. In the modern romance, I love Christina Dodd because she’s very vivid, sexual, and yet spiritual in her paranormal novels.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book?

I wouldn’t say I ‘have’ to travel, but I love traveling and I do get many ideas and inspiration from my trips.

Who designed the covers?

Rae Monet, Inc. did the cover design on my book and she does a great job, designing a lot of the book covers for SMP.

 

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

I think that the editing is probably the hardest part of the writing process for me.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I’ve always been fascinated with King Charles II of England and I enjoyed reviewing some of the racier aspects of his life. He was always a fun king. I also felt a powerful desire to connect the sexual, romantic, and spiritual aspects of romance and not make them exclusive of one another.  Another powerful aspect for me was the battle between good and evil because I always believe that faith and goodness will win out over demonic forces.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I think I would have to say to all writers out there to just keep writing and keep believing in yourself and the things that you have to say. Don’t give up the dream!

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I’m glad that you could stop by and I hope that my writing speaks to you on the level that you need. I love the romantic, the paranormal, the historical, and mix in a little suspense and sex, and I’m hooked, and I hope that you feel the same.

What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing this to life?

I spent a lot of time researching Charles II and vampires and psychic demon vampires and then I just put the story together. It was very challenging to bring the historical and the paranormal together to make a realistic story—but it was fun!

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